The St Georges Central Play Team

The 'Sing Out To Help Out' concert is raising money for two worthy charities, one of which is the Central Play Team at St Georges Hospital, Tooting, London. We caught up with them via email on the work they do with the children at the hospital. What’s the most rewarding thing about working for the play team?

  • The most rewarding thing about working for the play team, is working with amazing people, that inspire me. Everyone shows so much dedication, love and passion for their role and towards patients and families, that it makes me strive to become better. Having a supportive manager has also made me feel calm at work and makes me feel like I can talk about any issues I have
  • Being able to help patients make progress during their hospital stay and making them smile during a hard time
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Hayley and May
photo from instagram #stgeorges_playteam
The Central Play Team
photo from instagram #stgeorges_playteam


What’s a good day for you?

  • A good day at work is when I see a patient that has come to visit for an appointment and it makes me realise how far they’ve come and the impact I’ve made during their stay, that they were able to recover and be at home or in a better place than they were
  • Being able to spend time with patients, helping them to understand and cope with their treatment, procedures etc. and relieving their anxieties as well as providing fun things to do or a friendly chat

What’s the best bit about your job?

  • Of course it will have to be getting away with playing all day long. But also being a huge part of the patient and families journey in hospital.
  • Seeing patients getting better and making them happier in what can be a frightening time.
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Even when the medication was running
there was time for a game of pool
Sophie's new best friend,
Faith, the Chemo Duck


It must be hard seeing some children who are really unwell, how do you cope with that?

  • Keeping a positive mind and getting creative to find out what the children like, makes a huge difference to their stay, as one smile brightens up the room
  • I think we all have different ways of coping with this. At work I will sometimes chat to trusted members of staff if I feel like I need to talk about it and outside of work I like to bake and decorate cakes as well as rock climbing which is my way of relieving stress

What’s your favourite activity?

  • I enjoy making slime with patients
  • I like anything creative but I think my favourite is making things with clay
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Making Slime Diamond Art Painting


What’s the most popular activity? (I bet it’s a messy one!)

  • From my own experience, if I mention slime, the patient’s eyes light up
  • That’s a hard question but I think most patients enjoy painting activities
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Good Luck Trophy - Euro Cup
photo from instagram #stgeorges_playteam
Supporting the NHS


How many children do you work with in a typical week?

  • Everyday is a different amount. But my usual ward has 15 beds in total, however, it is prioritised based on how long patient’s have stayed and if they are able to come out of bed for activities or want activities
  • This varies per day/ week and depends  on the ward we are working on but we have around 76 beds between all of our paediatric wards and there is a play specialist on each ward. The patients can change regularly on some wards and other times we get a number of long term patients

How are the play team funded?

  • Various charities including St George’s Hospital Charity. We have an amount to spend each month given by the St George’s Hospital Charity
  • We get a small budget which we use to get supplies and we are supported by a few different charities who help us fund supplies and equipment for our playrooms and to use with patients at the bedside

Have you learnt any new skills while working for the play team?

  • I learnt some Makaton from my colleagues. Although I am out of practice as I don’t use it everyday
  • I have learnt how to make slime and am hoping to learn to knit as many patients ask about this

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